Since its launch in 2019, Chopard Alpine Eagle has become an increasingly popular addition to the booming luxury sports watch market. Now, this famous Swiss jewelry and watch manufacturer combines its flagship sports watch with one of its most advanced movements to create a timepiece that is not only sporty and stylish, but also precise.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF
Enter Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF. As the name suggests, the escapement of this new model ticks at a frequency of 8 Hz, twice the speed of a typical modern escapement. Of course, this is not the first time Chopard has used a high-frequency movement for rodeo performances. Previously, he had tried the LUC 01.06-L movement in the LUC 8HF model. The main difference this time is that this technological feat is presented in a sportier and more confident package, namely Alpine Eagle.
Case, dial and hands
Unlike the standard Alpine Eagle, the case size of the new Cadence 8HF is 41 mm x 9.75 mm. In fact, compared with the previous model, its case and bracelet design have also remained unchanged. You can still see the exquisite satin-brushed bezel, the middle of the case and the wide links, which contrast sharply with the polished central links, bevels and tangential screws. The difference this time is the material used to make the watch. Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF was previously made of gold or Lucent steel A223 alloy, all titanium. Compared with the shiny and hard proprietary Lucent Steel A223 alloy, titanium is characterized by a darker color and lighter weight.
As striking as the case is the charming dial of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF. Similar to the previous model, the dial is marked with a pattern that Chopard calls “Eagle Iris”. According to the brand, this is a direct tribute to the sharp vision of the majestic bird of prey that inspired the series. The “Vals Grey” color of the dial is further inspired by the village of the same name in Graubünden, Switzerland, which is famous for its houses with quartzite tile roofs.
A small but popular design change can be found on the hour track, which has been reduced to a baton decal and Roman numeral XII. The result is a cleaner dial compared to the regular Alpine Eagle model, which has Roman numeral decals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Also novel are the two inscriptions found only in the Cadence 8 HF model: the “8 Hz Chronometer” under the Chopard brand, and the arrow-shaped logo reserved only for Chopard high-frequency watches. Last but not least, a date window appears between the hour marks at 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock-you either hate love.
Vibrations and shocks are an important part of the life of a watch, but they still interfere with the swing of the balance wheel. One way to reduce the impact of percussion on the escapement is to use a high-frequency beating method. Due to statistical effects, the faster it jumps, the smaller each effect has on the average velocity. In 2012, Chopard took the lead in launching a full range of watches equipped with a high-frequency movement certified by the Observatory: Calibre LUC 01.06-L. After years of development, the high-frequency caliber 01.12-C was born, adding luster to the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF.
Calibre 01.12-C has an pallet fork, escape wheel and impact pin-all parts are subject to high friction-made of monocrystalline silicon. This is to reduce friction, thereby eliminating the need for traditional watchmaking lubricants and extending the life of the movement. It is the tribological properties of silicon and its lightness that make it a reality to develop high-frequency motion without increasing energy consumption. Obviously, despite running at 8 Hz, the COSC-certified Calibre 01.12-C still has a commendable 60-hour power reserve, the same duration as the regular Alpine Eagle model.
Although it is not as beautiful as Chopard’s LUC movement, the 01.12-C movement is still delicately completed and exceeds engineering requirements. This is a movement that focuses on function rather than form.
If you randomly select any mechanical watch available on the market today, you will find that most watches operate at a frequency between 3 and 4 Hz. Although more manufacturers are involved in them now than ever before, high-frequency motion is still relatively rare. Now, Chopard Alpine Eagle movement beats twice as fast as traditional modern movements, further distinguishing itself from similar products.
Grand Seiko SBGJ227 Hi-Beat GMT
As early as the late 1960s, Grand Seiko was a brand that produced high-frequency movements for a longer time than Chopard. Grand Seiko Hi Beat GMT is one of the most popular watches of the brand and also won the Petit Aguille Award at the 2014 Geneva Watch Grand Prix. The SBGJ227 “Peacock” limited edition (pictured below) was launched in 2017 and consists of the 9S86 movement. Caliber 9S86—essentially caliber 9S85, but with GMT capability—operates at a higher than usual 5 Hz frequency. In order to ensure the life and accuracy of the movement, Seiko relies heavily on precision manufacturing and material technology. The low-priced Grand Seiko SBGJ227 Hi Beat 36000 GMT is a more economical alternative to Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF.
At the same time, in Switzerland, Zenith has occupied most of the limelight in high-frequency watches in recent years. This year, the Le Locle-based manufacturer launched Defy El Primero 21 Ultrablue made of micro-blasted titanium. The most attractive part of this watch is its movement El Primero 9004, which has two escapements-one for timing and the other for timing-both of which run at high frequencies. The 1/100 of the chronograph is driven by the 50 Hz escapement, while the running time is driven by the more “moderate” 5 Hz escapement. Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ultrablue is a completely modern mechanical watch.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF is effortless. It now has a high-revving engine to match its confident appearance. The only “disadvantage” of this timepiece is the rather industrial finish of the movement, which unexpectedly matches the steel gray appearance of the case and bracelet. It will be interesting to see if Chopard will introduce more complications and innovations on Cadence 8 HF. watch for sale online